Interpretation of Illness in Patients with Chronic Diseases from Poland and Their Associations with Spirituality, Life Satisfaction, and Escape from Illness—Results from a Cross Sectional Study

Abstract

To analyse how patients with chronic diseases would interpret their illness, and how these interpretations were related to spirituality/religiosity, life satisfaction, and escape from illness, we performed a cross-sectional survey among patients with chronic diseases from Poland (n = 275) using standardized questionnaires. Illness was interpreted mostly as an Adverse Interruption of life (61%), Threat/Enemy (50%), Challenge (42%), and rarely as a Punishment (8%). Regression analyses revealed that escape from illness was the best predictor of negative disease perceptions and also strategy associated disease perceptions, and a negative predictor of illness as something of Value, while Value was predicted best by specific spiritual issues. Patients’ religious Trust and partner status were among the significant contributors to their life satisfaction. Data show that specific dimensions of spirituality are important predictors for patients’ interpretation of illness. Particularly the fatalistic negative perceptions could be indicators that patients may require further psychological assistance to cope with their burden. OPEN ACCESS Religions 2015, 6 764

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